That is the title of the event that I did last weekend with a few of my friends, and it was such a cool event that I thought I would write about it.

Sea to Summit is a triathlon that goes essentially from sea level point to point starting in Berwick, Maine and heads northeast and finishes at the summit of Mount Washington.  This event reminded me of what multisport events were like back when I first started doing them- way back in 1985.  Small fields, low pressure, and a sense of camaraderie between all participants.  Don’t get me wrong… it is still a race, yet the feeling all day is one of mutual support between competitors. I feel very fortunate to still be able to participate in these types of events so many years later and after a few high speed crashes and a few serious injuries.

The Sea to Summit Triathlon is a largely self-supported race consisting of:

  • a 1.2 mile swim in Knight’s Pond in South Berwick, Maine
  • a 92 mile bike ride (depending on course variations) from Maine into New Hampshire, following roads of your choosing, with 6,000 feet of climbing
  • a strenuous five mile run/climb up the tallest mountain in the Northeast: Mount Washington, with 4,300 feet of vertical gain in altitude

How unique is Sea to Summit? At dawn, competitors are swimming at sea level. Seven to 12 hours later they are standing at the highest point in the Northeastern United States.

This is a deliberately small race, with a limited field of 125 experienced triathletes. Each competitor must designate a support person, or porter, who will be present at the start, drive the course (although not alongside the athlete), take away the bike at T2, and chauffeur the athlete down the mountain. For relay teams: as the race progresses one of the non-active team members assumes the role of porter.

This year I did the race as part of a relay team. This year the race happened to be on my birthday and I thought what better way to celebrate your birthday than to get a couple friends and do this cool event.  My friend Tory Fiske did the swim and Tory was our navigator and chief “porter”, I did the bike leg, and my friend Nik Andersson did the run up the mountain.

My birthday started with a 3:30 am wake up and short drive to Knight’s Pond in South Berwick, Maine.  Tory was up first with the swim which had to be shortened to 1 mile due to severe fog. I was up next for a beautiful point to point 92 mile bike ride northwest to Wild Cat mountain ski resort.  The day was sunny and quite warm ~ 85 degrees and a bit humid, but no rain until the last few miles near Wildcat Mountain ski resort.  Nik was our anchor leg and he crushed the run/climb up the mountain.  Tory and I took the auto road to meet Nik at the top.  It was about 45 degrees and drizzling at the summit as we were essentially in the clouds.  Visibility was about 100 yards at times, but the winds were pretty calm for Mount Washington.  We all drove down the “fun” descent down the auto road to a Turkey dinner at Wildcat Mountain resort.  Who would have thought of a turkey dinner in July, but you know what… it was perfect!

We ended up as the first relay team and 8th overall.  We received a beautiful etched Granite plaque.

This race has been voted one of the world’s top 5 “Bucket List” races by Triathlete’s Choice Awards.

The Sea to Summit Triathlon was developed and refined over 25 years for those looking for a new and unique challenge. Race direction is headed by Andy Scherding and Kathleen Walker of New England Endurance Events.

So, if you are looking for a “cool” event check out Sea to Summit.

If you have any questions about this Blog or about your health in general, feel free to contact me at [email protected]